Monday, 17 June 2013

Illiterate mechanic spends life savings to build his village a hospital where patients pay only what they can afford

Posted by Siva
Illiterate mechanic spends life savings to build his village a hospital where patients pay only what they can afford.He made his life on his own. But when it came to giving back to the society, 48-year-old Hussain Momin did not think twice. The illiterate car mechanic has built a hospital for the needy on a plot of land that belonged to his forefathers.

                        \ Hussain Momin (right) built a hospital for the needy with the help of Dr Kartik Shukla (left)

Adarsh Hospital was opened on Momin's ancestral land near Ahmedabad a couple of years ago              
Befittingly named Adarsh Hospital, the multi-specialty facility at Telav village near Sanand on the outskirts of Ahmedabad has a unique payment option.

"The patients can pay whatever they can afford, but the treatment would not stop for money," says Dr Kartik Shukla, a leading orthopaedic surgeon from Ahmedabad, who heads the hospital.

Shukla is the person who helped Momin materialise his dream of opening a hospital in his village.

Momin was 20 when he left the village to earn bread for his family. A few weeks floating around saw him settling in a garage in Chiloda, near Gandhinagar, where he learned the nuances of vehicle repairing. After fifteen years, Momin decided to head back home.

With over Rs 7 lakh in his pocket, he continued to work as a mechanic near his village, and his good work soon got him business. But despite his business doing great, something was still bothering Momin, and that was the wish to construct a hospital in his village.

The shy garage mechanic refuses to talk much, but Shukla tells how Momin got the hospital constructed in the 1200 sq yard plot that was a family property.

"The location of the plot made it a prime property and Hussain bhai had many offers to sell it off with some offers even going up to Rs 10 crore," Shukla says. But Momin stuck to his guns, used the money he had saved all these years and finally launched his dream hospital a couple of years ago.

"Unlike urban patients, the rural people rarely plan a treatment and hence seldom have ready cash for it," Shukla says. While the lack of cash leads to compromise in treatment, he says, many patients are later forced to seek further procedures which often turn complicated.

Explaining the fee structure, Shukla says that while Momin was initially opposed to charging fees, it was decided that though the treatment in the hospital will be chargeable to cover the running cost of the hospital, the patients will be explained the cost of treatment and asked to pay whatever they can.

When Momin asked Shukla to take over the hospital, he had a latent altruistic desire and Shukla decided to take charge of the hospital. Following Shukla, a team of four gynecologists also agreed to work in the hospital.

"We have three orthopedic surgeons, four gynecologists, an ENT surgeon, a dental surgeon, an orthodontist, and an ophthalmologist apart from a general physician and we will soon have a
physiotherapist as well. The best part of it is that no doctor has come to this hospital with any terms and conditions," he says.

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